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Uncertainty Reduction

  1. Leeva C. Chung

Published Online: 17 OCT 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118339893.wbeccp550

The Encyclopedia of Cross-Cultural Psychology

The Encyclopedia of Cross-Cultural Psychology

How to Cite

Chung, L. C. 2013. Uncertainty Reduction. The Encyclopedia of Cross-Cultural Psychology. III:1303–1305.

Author Information

  1. University of San Diego, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 17 OCT 2013


When we encounter ambiguous or new situations with cross-cultural strangers, our interaction may be marked with varying levels of uncertainty. Uncertainty is uncomfortable and we are motivated to reduce these unpleasant feelings. Uncertainty refers to our inability to predict and/or explain the behavior, feelings, attitudes, and/or values of others. The higher our uncertainty levels, the more ineffectively we can communicate. Studying uncertainty as a theoretical principle to explain communication behavior is associated with Charles Berger, Richard Calabrese, William Gudykunst, and Geert Hofstede.


  • intergroup relations;
  • dimensions of culture;
  • communication